GNOME was my go to desktop enviornment for most of my Linux days back in the old days. I was mostly a Linux except for 3 years when I also used a Mac between 2002 and 2010. For most of that time I either used GNOME (v2) or Fluxbox. Then at the end I played around with GNOME v3 and Xmonad a little. These days I'm using mostly GNOME Shell or what the hell it's called. It is GNOME v3. I think it has gotten very solid, and works really well. Most of works kind of how I'd like a window manager to be. Mostly focused on searching for the app you want to start.